Marble is the kind of material that instantly adds a touch of timeless elegance and refinement to any room. It can be used as an accent, incorporated into the overall design of a room or perhaps used as a flooring material throughout the entire home. It is hard-wearing, durable and quite astoundingly beautiful – it’s little wonder marble is once again enjoying something of a renaissance across much of the world.
However, it’s also highly important to understand that while marble is indeed sturdy and durable, it is a porous material that is not impervious to stains. Higher-end products are exceptionally resistant to spills and stains, but most marble types can be marked and in the worst instances marred for life.
With regard to looking after marble surfaces, the general industry recommendation is to view them as though they were made of wood. If you had a wooden countertop for example, you wouldn’t place drinking glasses straight on the surface, but instead use coasters. Likewise, if you spilled some red wine or fruit juice on a wooden table, you’d wipe it away immediately – exactly as you should with marble.
Ask the best granite suppliers across the country and they’ll all tell you the same – marble is technically a breeze to look after and will, if cared for, last longer than a lifetime. It’s all about knowing the basics when it comes to care and repair – read on for a few expert insights:
Care and Cleanings mentioned above, the most important takeaway of all is that of marble being a porous material – it will absorb stains if exposed to them for too long. Coffee cups will leave rings, spills will leave marks and stains can be difficult to shift once they’ve set in.
The simplest way of tackling the cleaning of your marble surfaces therefore is to use a soft cloth lightly moistened with warm water and nothing else – a chamois is the best choice for avoiding streaks. Every week or two, you can add a little mild detergent to the water, but ensure it is removed with a wet cloth before drying.
To preserve the luster of the surface, invest in a specially made marble wax – NOT a generic furniture wax. The right wax will keep the surface looking great and also make it easier to clean next time around. It’s not advisable to wax any white marble surfaces as the wax can cause a slight yellowing of the color. Likewise, any wax not designed specifically for marble is likely to damage the surface.
Deeper Cleaning If you’re unhappy with the dullness of your marble after a period of time, it’s perfectly possible to return at least some of its former luster. You’ll find an array of marble care kits and repair products all over the web and in stores, but here’s the thing – don’t use any of them! Instead, get in touch with the supplier you got the marble from in the first place as there is no such thing as a deep-cleaner or restoration product for marble that works on every type of marble there is. Some marbles are harder than others, some heavier, some more porous and so on – you need the right tool for the job, so find out what it is from your supplier.
Extremes of Heat If you invest in a decent quality marble product, chances are there’s nothing you can throw at it that will make a dent…not literally, of course. There’s usually no harm in placing a pan straight from the stove onto a marble surface, just in the same way they can easily withstand freezing temperatures, sharp knives and so on and so forth.
However, marble is a natural product which will inevitably react to extreme temperatures in one way or another, meaning that its integrity could be temporarily weakened by extreme hot or cold – especially if switching from one to the other too quickly.
So once more, think of the surface a little like hardened and treated wood – it will indeed hold its own but it’s a much better idea to use pot-holders and pan-rests. Repairs and finally, as specified above you can indeed pick up marble repair kits online for pretty low prices, but finding the right one for your exact grade and specification of marble isn’t an easy job.
And for that matter neither is the job of tackling the damage itself. From stains to cracks to small chips, if you’re really looking for a professional quality result, you should contact your supplier for advice.
Chances are they’ll be able to point you in the right direction, or better still arrange the repairs for you at a cheaper price than the repair kit! Chris Jenkinson writes for Roma Marble who are marble and granite suppliers.